NHL Rumors: Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Vancouver Canucks
The Pittsburgh Penguins may not be done with free agency. Will the Vancouver Canucks use a buyout to get back under the cap ceiling?
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The Penguins may not be done with free agency

Dan Kingerski of The Athletic: Sources believe that the Pittsburgh Penguins may not be done adding players despite 24 players under contract. The Penguins don’t have much cap space or assets, so it’s won’t be easy for them to do.

Forward Erik Haula may be one player they are considering according to multiple sources. Haula has been rejecting below-value free agent offers.

The Penguins bottom-six has some question market so it makes sense to look at Haula.

Being able to sign Haula seems unlikely but not impossible. One source said that Haula has the Penguins as “one of five or six teams” that would be a fit for him.

If they are able to sign, it would give them their ‘most prolific third-line center since young Jordan Staal.’

A three-year contract at $3 million could be a fair offer but the Penguins would need to clear out space. The Penguins have about $1.3 million in cap space, plus they’ll put Zach Aston-Reese and his $1 million on the LTIR’d when the season starts. Sending Colton Sceviour to the AHL would free up another $1.05 million, or they could try to trade him.

Will the Canucks use a buyout to get back under the cap ceiling?

Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province: The Vancouver Canucks have a second buyout window to help fix their salary cap situation.

Brandon Sutter‘s name has come up as he has one-year left at $4.375 million. A buyout would save them $2.333 million next season, but GM Jim Benning thinks losing Sutter could hurt the team.

“We have to be careful that we take everything into consideration before we start buying people out. With Sutter, we talked about different scenarios for leaders in our group. To lose him would be a big void in our room.”

Owner Francesco Aquilini may not be thrilled with the idea of paying a player not to play for them.

After Jake Virtanen‘s new deal last week, the Canucks are about $1.5 million over the salary cap ceiling.

Loui Eriksson‘s deal is basically buyout proof. Micheal Ferland‘s health is a question and he could be LTIR’d if he can’t come back. He carries a $3.5 million cap hit. Sven Baertschi in the AHL is another option.

“I’m OK with having extra guys that we might send down,” said Benning. “In a flat-cap world, I don’t think there’s any risk of anybody getting picked up (waivers) and if they do, good for them. Those are things that are on the table.”